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Friday, November 14, 2008

UK boycotting Jewish products

Israel is furious over an effort by the British government to bring about a boycott of produce originating in the 'West Bank' (Judea and Samaria).
Relations between Israel and Britain remained strained on Thursday over Downing Street's intention to label products manufactured in West Bank settlements, a week before the expected arrival of British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband, to the Middle East.

Miliband, who will visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Lebanon next week, is expected to talk to Israeli officials over the settlements in the West Bank and his country's proposed plan to label products manufactured in them. "This initiative is a serious and substantial problem in relations between the two countries, and is generating a sense of crisis," a senior diplomat in Jerusalem said.

Over the past few weeks Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has spoken to Miliband and tried to persuade him to cancel the plan, by equating it to the initiative by U.K. academics to ban their Israeli counterparts. The British Secretary of State responded that the policy did not amount to an embargo on products made in the West Bank, but was merely an attempt to enforce previous trade agreements between the two countries.


A few days ago Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Prosor held a meeting with Miliband, during which the Israeli official rejected the Secretary of State's argument that the plan to label products made in West Bank settlements was simply part of the U.K.'s attempts to enforce trade agreements. Prosor told Miliband that its initiative to label the products was part of an attempt by Downing Street to influence Israeli policy toward the settlements, and that any other explanation was an excuse.
It seems quite clear that they aren't just enforcing a trade agreement and that they hope that labeling the products as "Made in the 'West Bank' will prevent people from buying them altogether. Here's is an Al-Beeb report with more details.
Goods produced on settlements in the West Bank are not supposed to benefit from a free trade agreement between the EU and Israel. They are supposed to be subject to import duty.

But the BBC has discovered that HM Revenue and Customs is strongly concerned that the system is being abused and that these goods may be coming into Britain for free.

Ahava is one of the better known brands to come from the occupied West Bank.

Tourists pack the visitor centre for the skin care company, located on a settlement called Mitzpe Shalem, just next to the northern part of the Dead Sea.

The company is doing well. Its range of products using minerals extracted from the Dead Sea and processed nearby are on sale in Britain and across Europe.

Ahava CEO Yaacov Ellis said exports are doing so well that the company plans to open soon a second store in Britain along with a number elsewhere in Europe.

He added that one big help over the last few years has been the free trade agreement between the European Union and Israel signed in 2000.

"I think it is very important, not just for us, for anyone who deals with the export between the countries. Now of course we are like a European country."


Mr Ellis says that although the Ahava factory is indeed in the West Bank, the company can still benefit as it has other operations located inside Israel.

"Well, the core of the company is located here and near Tel Aviv area. The company has a few sites in Israel, so we are using there [Mizpe Shalem] for manufacturing, but it does not affect our sales."


It is true that we were talking at the company's Head Office just south of Tel Aviv.

But the European Commission, guardians of EU law, said in a statement to the BBC that the law is clear.

"The rules of origin of a product refer to the place where the product or most of it was manufactured."
I wonder if anyone has told these dingbats how many 'Palestinians' wouldn't have jobs were it not for the fact that companies like Ahava are able to sell under the Free Trade Agreement.

But the obnoxiousness goes even further. They don't want to boycott the 'West Bank.' They only want to boycott the Joooos:
At a number of settlements across the West Bank, polythene tunnels house row upon row of the fragrant herbs available cheaply in shops and markets around Israel.

Some of them are also exported to the United Kingdom where the supermarkets chop them up, package them and label them as "West Bank" produce.

But although the herbs do indeed come from the West Bank, the geographical label does not tell consumers whether they are buying from a Palestinian farmer or from an Israeli settler.

Waitrose is one of the British supermarkets selling herbs which they label as coming simply from "the West Bank".

In a statement to the BBC, it confirmed that the imported herbs came from West Bank farms which it described as "Israeli-managed".

"While it is not a legal requirement for us to label where our herbs come from at all, we still choose to do this," the statement said.

"All our herbs from the West Bank are labelled as 'West Bank', in line with the geographical region and EU legislative advice."

Waitrose may be meeting its legal requirement, but Mike Bailey from Oxfam says that it is not good enough.

"The settlements on the West Bank are illegal under international humanitarian law and that creates a lot of problems for the Palestinians that live there.

"Consumers that are buying produce that are grown in illegal settlements need to have that information so that they can make an informed choice."

The Foreign Office seems inclined to agree.

British officials have now tabled a proposal at the European Council, the EU forum for member states, calling for discussion on possible ways to tighten the policing of the rules on import duty and change them on labelling, so that consumers can make "an informed choice between Palestinian goods and settlement goods".
I would suggest specifically buying 'West Bank' produce and goods, but unfortunately, there aren't enough people who would do it to make up for the lost revenue this could cause.

And look for more of this to happen over the next four years.


At 9:47 PM, Blogger Gail said...

Makes me with I bought any British products so I could boycott them!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Gail said...

I mean, makes me "wish"...

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Britannia, a dying Roman kingdom, a shadow of its former self, soon to succumb to Islamic overlords.

One can faintly make out the voice of Churchill's soul begging not to be left behind.

"Remember, O Lord, for the sons of Edom, the day of Jerusalem, those who say, "Raze it, raze it, down to its foundation!"
O Daughter of Babylon, who is destined to be plundered, praiseworthy is he who repays you your recompense that you have done to us.
Praiseworthy is he who will take and dash your infants against the rock."

- Psalm 137:7-9

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Niko said...

This Finn will boycott British products.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Butchie! said...

Its disgusting, but boycotting Britain is a waste of effort because our numbers are far too small to have any effect on the government decision makers.

Just like everything involving Israel, the solution must be based on long term education - and that can only come about with a real leadership in Israel.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

I will start to boycott all British products asap

I am making a list....




well I cant think of any...

oh yeah...

Bad teeth....

Taxation without representation...

A Fucgly Old jeweled woman who calls herself "Queen"


At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot Marmite.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

I have an idea.

Let's get Intel to open a plant in the Barkan industrial park near Ariel. Then let Britain decide they're not going to buy any more computers.


At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intel won't do it.

At 1:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

lets boycott all isreali products and hope the israelis (land stealers and baby killers) die and do the world a favour!


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